AFl-CIO President Richard Trumka on labor and the 2010 elections

Richard Trumka
AFL-CIO President

Today’s a day to be honest.

Yesterday’s election results are deeply disappointing to the millions of voters who supported working family candidates this year. Voters in this election were angry, and for good reason. They’ve felt the pain of economic collapse. And they’ve paid for it with their jobs, their homes and often their hope. Many working people knew in their gut that Washington insiders did too much to help Wall Street and the banks, and not enough to help average people.

But this election was not a mandate for an anti-worker agenda. Voters in swing congressional districts overwhelmingly reject privatizing Social Security and raising the Social Security retirement age, they oppose tax cuts for the top 2 percent who make more than $250,000 a year, they reject abolishing the Department of Education and they oppose reducing or eliminating the minimum wage.

Now that Republicans will be in control of the House of Representatives, their leaders have to step up to the plate. If they keep saying “no,” we’ll make sure voters know exactly who failed them on jobs and fixing the economy in 2012.

President Obama inherited two wars and an economy teetering on the brink of a second Great Depression. He took immediate steps to avert catastrophe. Years from now, we’ll look back and see these two years as the most eventful for working families in 40 years.

But the economy is still a mess, and we have difficult work ahead. It’s up to us to force these new members of Congress to move bold initiatives to fix our economy and put America back to work—or force them to pay the price for inaction in 2012.

America’s labor movement fought tirelessly for working families until the last polls closed on the West Coast Tuesday. I’m proud that I can count on you to jump into the fight for working families all over again, starting right now. With your help, we’ll work harder than ever to build an economy that works for everyone.

We expect critical legislative battles to take place in the coming weeks and months, with as little as 24 hours’ notice. We’ll need to alert you right away. Once you’ve watched my video, be sure to sign up for occasional, timely text messages. Just text NOW to 225568. (Message and data rates may apply.)

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